FAQs Related to COVID-19

COVID-19 and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Congress recently passed legislation designed to help you and your family during these difficult times. We want to tell you about one piece, the FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT – FFCRA 2020 and how it impacts you.

We are still working out the exact details, but the intention of the law is to help provide you with financial stability during this difficult time.

There are two provisions of the Bill, additional Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSLA) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFMLEA).

The FFCRA became effective April 1, 2020. Employees are eligible to receive this emergency pay effective April 1, 2020. This is a one-time benefit.

 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
Emergency FMLA Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
Time Permitted: Two weeks maximum *  Time Permitted: Twelve weeks total
Type of Leave: Paid Leave Type of Leave: Two weeks unpaid. Ten weeks paid.
You may be eligible if you: You may be eligible if you:
  1. Are subject to a federal, state or legal quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. (up to full pay)
  2. Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. (up to full pay)
  3. Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and am seeking diagnosis. (up to full pay)
  4. Are caring for an individual who is subject to self-quarantine by a federal, state, or local order or was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine. (up to 2/3 pay) 
  5. Are caring for my son or daughter (under the age of 18) because school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions. (up to 2/3 pay) 
  6. Am experiencing other conditions substantially similar to COVID-19 as specified by the Secretary of HHS. (up to 2/3 pay) 

* Two weeks, of your standard work week, up to 80 hours. 

  1. Are caring for my son or daughter (under the age of 18) because school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions


  2. Have been employed by this employer for at least 30 calendar days. (up to ten weeks of 2/3 pay)

Please note that the FFCRA does NOT provide paid leave for any other FMLA qualifying reasons and does NOT provide paid leave for COVID-19 related care or quarantines. COVID-19 related care and quarantines are covered under numbers 1 through 6 (in the box to the left). 



I need to be out of work because of a COVID-19 related situation. What do I need to do?
1. Let your Manager know immediately that you need to be off work due to reasons related to COVID-19. Your manager will inform HR. 2. Keep a close eye on your Catholic Charities email inbox—you will receive an important email from HR with further instructions that you will need to follow. 3. Begin gathering documentation that you will need to provide HR.

If requesting leave related to COVID-19 illness, you will need documentation from your healthcare provider including ALL of the following:

Employee’s Name
Qualifying reason for requesting leave (1-6) in the chart above or
Statement that you are unable to work, including telework
Date(s) for which leave is requested
Name of healthcare provider

If requesting leave to care for your son or daughter (under the age of 18) because their school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions:

You will need documentation showing that your child’s school or place of care is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19-related reasons. For example, this requirement may be satisfied with a notice of closure or unavailability from your child’s school, place of care, or child care provider, including a notice that may have been posted on a government, school, or day care website, published in a newspaper, or emailed to you from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider.

What if there is a delay in getting my paperwork to HR?

All paperwork MUST be received by HR in order to receive payment. We will honor the doctor’s note, but there may be a delay in payment until all documentation is received. PTO may not be used in place of emergency sick pay because the pay will be retroactively paid back to the start of your leave.

What do I do if I missed time from work due to COVID-19 on or before March 31st?
You will follow the Catholic Charities sick policy, found in the Employee Handbook, for any time missed before FFCRA went into effect on April 1st. If you experienced time off due to COVID-19, after April 1st, you may be eligible for paid time under FFCRA (effective April 1st) and will need to contact your manager and provide documentation (as listed in Question 1 of these FAQ’s).

What if I have underlying medical conditions, unrelated to COVID-19, and my healthcare provider recommends that I am out of work for an undefined amount of time?
You will need a note from your healthcare provider explaining that you are considered high risk, including specific dates (if possible) for the duration of time you will be out of work. Your underlying medical condition might qualify you for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Check with your manager for more details.

I work less than 16 hours per week, am I still eligible for the emergency sick leave?
Yes. The EPSLA is available to all employees regardless of the number of hours you work or how long you have worked with Catholic Charities.

Can I use the two weeks (10 days) of EPSLA for more than once instance?
Under EPSLA you will have 10 days total. If you do not use all 10 days for one instance, you may use the remainder for another instance, but you cannot have more than 10 days total. The FFCRA is in effect from April 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020.

Will I accrue PTO while being paid under the EPSLA or the EFMLEA?
No – PTO accruals will stop while being paid through ESPLA and/or EFMLEA.

Do I receive Holiday pay when on EPSLA and/or EFMLEA?
If being paid through ESPLA or EFMLEA, you do not receive holiday pay.

When did FFCRA go into effect?
FFCRA went into effect on April 1st, 2020. Any leaves before that date must follow Catholic Charities sick leave policy found in the Employee Handbook. The FFCRA is in effect from April 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020.

Do I need a Return to Work Slip from my healthcare provider?
If you are out due to your own COVID-19 related illness, you will need to provide a Return to Work recommendation from your Healthcare Provider before returning to work. If your original note from your healthcare provider states a return to work date, you will not need an additional return to work note.

Is the Stay at Home order one of the qualifications for EPSLA?
A Stay at Home order does not qualify an employee to receive EPSLA.

If I have exhausted my EPSLA and still need to be out, can I use PTO?
As long as you have the proper documentation from a healthcare provider, you are eligible to use any sick and vacation time you have accrued towards an extended leave. You may use your leave bank for an approved medical leave, as applicable, with proper documentation from your healthcare provider.

If I am receiving 2/3 pay through EPSLA or EFMLEA, can I use my PTO to bring my salary up to 100%?
Yes, please contact Pam polson@ccmadison.org and Lauren lnielsen@ccmadison.org for more details on how to report that time.
How do I count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
A part-time employee is entitled to leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such a part-time employee may take paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period, and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours per day up to ten weeks after that.

If this calculation cannot be made because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed that the employee would work upon hiring. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment.



Pam Olson
Manager of Benefits and Compensation
Lauren Nielsen
Human Resources Assistant